Hydrotherapy, earlier called the hydropathy is defined as the use of water to treat a medical condition or to maintain the general health. The therapy belongs to conventional medicine as well as alternative medicine. It is said to be used in naturopathy, physiotherapy, and occupational therapy. The treatment involves the therapeutic use of water to provide healing effects.
Many prefer hydrotherapy or Aqua therapy as it is a natural way of treatment and the results are approving. Water has many properties that aid in providing relief. It improves blood flow and has a soothing, calming, and relaxing effect on the patient. Certain postures when done in water are easier to do and provide immense relief to painful joints. The increase in buoyancy (opposite to gravity) allows for more degrees of activity and hence exercises done in water are more effective than when done on land. Different temperature conditions inside the water also play a role in this therapy. The increase in temperature and hydrostatic pressure increases blood circulation and body’s flexibility and decreases swelling.
Hydrotherapy differs from swimming because this constitutes specific postures and exercises and is commonly administered in a hot water pool. The water temperature of such a pool is usually maintained between 33-36 º C. which is warmer than a typical swimming pool.
Hydrotherapy primarily includes anything from floating in the water and directly benefiting from the increased temperature and relaxation properties to highly intense exercise sessions. The form of hydrotherapy used will depend entirely on the conditions of the individual undergoing treatment. Many land based exercises can be therapeutically used in the water. Walking in a pool is easy on the joints due to the buoyancy. Some state-of-the-art facilities may even have underwater treadmills! Other exercises such as squats and lunges can also be done inside the pool.
One method of hydrotherapy is also known as the Bad Ragaz Ring Method. It is a form of muscle re-education where the patient is kept afloat, and specific patterns of resistance, endurance, elongation, relaxation, a range of motion, and tonal reduction techniques are applied. As mentioned earlier all the exercises are progressed by increasing the speed of the movement or the turbulence of the water. Other methods of increasing difficulty include increasing surface area. This can be achieved for example by holding something wide in hand (such as a racket or bat) when moving it through the water.
The buoyancy of the water acts as either a tool to assist movement or to increase the difficulty of an exercise. For example, when using the shoulder, the water can be used to help in lifting the arm upwards from by the side. Also, the water will provide some resistance against pushing the arm back down. This resistance can be increased further by attaching a float to the arm.
Hydrotherapy is used in many illnesses and medical conditions. It is effective in most cases of arthritis and rheumatic illness. It is also advised to asthma patients and a range of problems such as cold, depression, stomach problems, nerve problems, headaches, and sleep disorders. It is also used by many to maintain the overall health. The treatment is most effective for Stage-1 patients. In the case of higher severity of illness, it is used along with other treatments. Statistics says that hydrotherapy has a very high success rate when it is used for a prolonged time. It shows satisfying results in most cases. However, the severity assessment is the primary criteria for the effectiveness of the treatment.
Hydrotherapy is advisable to everyone, however, under certain circumstances, hydrotherapy is not recommended.
The therapy is not recommended for persons with:
Hydrotherapy is safe if it is administered correctly. Several people may react differently to the extent and magnitude of treatment. Some people may have headaches, aches and pains, sleep problems, nausea, chilliness, and faintness. It is important to discuss the physical condition and medical history with the doctor or physical therapist before trying hydrotherapy.
Always tell the doctor if an alternative therapy is already on. It is not safe to forgo conventional medical treatment and rely only on an alternative treatment. Invasive hydrotherapy techniques like enemas, douching, and colonic irrigation is not well accepted by medicinal science because these internal cleansing methods can cause damage to an individual by interfering with the natural balance of the digestive tract.
Hydrotherapy often puts on a risk of allergic reaction known as "contact dermatitis" for some patients using essential herbs and oils in their bath water. Overheating is one of the most common side effects of hydrotherapy, which can be very harmful. This may occur when an individual spends too much time in a hot tub or pool.
There is no specific post treatment instruction after undergoing hydrotherapy. Though it should be kept in mind to maintain the patient at ease for a few hours after the treatment. Laborious works should not be undertaken. It should also be borne in mind that the patient is kept warm after the treatment or else there arise chances of catching a cold.
There is no fixed recovery time for this treatment. The individual can walk out if he or she feels comfortable in doing so. Though it depends on the practitioner, who accesses the conditions of a severity of the ailments and decides the recovery time.
The cost of one session Hydrotherapy depends on the severity of the ailment of the patient. The average price of the treatment in India ranges between INR 1000 to INR 10000depending on the case and the organization performing the therapy.
The results of hydrotherapy are not permanent as it gives temporary relief from the ailment by increasing the flow of blood. Though prolonged used of hydrotherapy have shown instances of permanent cure in arthritis and asthma.
Some common alternatives of hydrotherapy are a Steam bath, Sauna Bath, Spa therapy, Sitz bath, Wet sock treatment, and Hot fomentation.
A typical forty-minute group hydrotherapy session may include:·
Hydrotherapy is an effective way of treating AS as it provides heat whilst
The warmth of water can relieve pain and muscle pain and
muscle spasm and promote relaxation. Dry-land exercises are most effective
directly after hydrotherapy.
B.CARDIOVASCULAR FITNESS, STAMINA AND MUSCLE ENDURANCE
Physical fitness can be improved by cardiovascular exercise that increases the muscle strength and endurance as well as exercising the heart and lungs.This form of exercise can improve stamina, and enables people to pursue their work and hobbies with greater ease.Circuits in the gym should include a variety of strengthening and stretching exercises interspersed with low-impact cardio-vascular exercises such as the rowing machine and static bike. High-impact activities such as jogging and step-ups can aggravate the weight-bearing joints. Low-impact cardiovascular activities such as swimming, aquarobics, cycling and walking increase stamina and muscle endurance without aggravating the joints.
Cardiovascular exercise can also be undertaken in the hydrotherapy pool.Contact sports such as rugby and football are best avoided as the joints can be aggravated and a fused spine can be at risk from contact with other players.With increased respiratory excursion, cardiovascular exercise helps to mobilize the thoracic joints and maintain or improve chest expansion and vital capacity.Regular cardiovascular exercise has other benefits, including body weight reduction, and protection from heart disease and diabetes. It also can improve sleep, relaxation and well being.
Keep the neck and shoulders under water as much as possible by standing in the correct depth of water. If necessary, bend knees and hips. The faster the movement is performed, the more the turbulence and therefore the greater the resistance.
Count out loud and perform the activity at least 10 times to increase the CV content and respiratory excursion still further.
1. Walk with big strides forwards, backwards or sideways around the edge of the pool. Exaggerate the arm swing and trunk movements. Change direction quickly into the turbulence created.
2. Clasp the hands together under the water straight out in front and swish the arms as far round as possible to right and left.
3. Bend the right knee and reach down to the outside of the right heel with the right hand. Repeat to other side.
4. Hop, touching the right elbow to a bent left knee. repeat to the other side.
5. Lump, punching the right arm forwards and the left leg backwards. Repeat to the other side.
It cannot really be a nice situation to be in when a person happens to have osteoarthritis. So, while a lot of the effort to improve the situation is focused on making use of painkilling medicines, can physiotherapy help in such cases?
Well, the answer is a resounding yes! When osteoarthritis patients practice some physiotherapy on a regular basis, what they will find is that a fair amount of the freedom they had before the condition affected them would have returned. Is this not some great news?
In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!
Cervical osteoarthritis is also known as cervical spondylosis. It is a medical condition which involves changes in the joints of neck, bones and discs. This is generally caused due to the deterioration of the muscles owing to old age. With age, the cervical spine breaks down and loses all its fluids. This leads to stiffness in the spine. It occurs usually in middle aged and old aged people. This causes stiffness and severe neck pain. Corrective surgery is helpful to cure Cervical Osteoarthritis.
Symptoms of Cervical Osteoarthritis:
Cervical Osteoarthritis can be cured by physiotherapy in the following ways:
Physiotherapy is the most natural and safe way of curing cervical osteoarthritis. If you are diagnosed with cervical spondylosis, you should start physiotherapy as soon as possible. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a Physiotherapist.